The Info List - A Few Good Men

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A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
is a 1992 American legal drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, with Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, Wolfgang Bodison, James Marshall, J. T. Walsh and Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland
in supporting roles. It was adapted for the screen by Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
from his play of the same name but includes contributions by William Goldman. The film revolves around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers as they prepare a case to defend their clients.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Reception

4.1 Box office 4.2 Critical response

5 Awards and honors

5.1 Academy Awards nominations 5.2 Golden Globe nominations 5.3 Other honors

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Plot U.S. Marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downey are facing a general court-martial, accused of killing fellow Marine Private William Santiago at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
in Cuba. Santiago had poor relations with his fellow Marines, compared unfavorably to them, and broke the chain of command in an attempt to get transferred out of Guantanamo. Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup and his officers argue about the best course of action: while Jessup's executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Markinson, advocates that Santiago be transferred, Jessup dismisses the option and orders Santiago's commanding officer, Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick, to 'train' Santiago to become a better Marine. Naval investigator and lawyer Lieutenant commander JoAnne Galloway suspects Dawson and Downey carried out a "code red": a violent extrajudicial punishment. Galloway wants to defend them, but the case is given to Lieutenant (junior grade)
Lieutenant (junior grade)
Daniel Kaffee, an inexperienced and unenthusiastic lawyer with a penchant for plea bargains. Initially, friction exists between Galloway, who resents Kaffee's apparent laziness, and Kaffee, who resents Galloway's interference. Kaffee negotiates a plea bargain with the prosecutor, Captain Jack Ross (USMC); insisting Kendrick gave the "code red" order minutes after he had publicly ordered the platoon not to touch Santiago, and never intending their victim to die, Dawson and Downey refuse the deal. Dawson shows outright contempt for Kaffee's 'cowardice', even refusing to salute. Kaffee meets with Jessup, who tells Kaffee that Santiago was set to be transferred. Galloway convinces Kaffee to take the case to court; the defense establishes the existence of "code red" orders at Guantanamo, and that Dawson specifically had learned not to disobey any order after a promotion was denied for helping out a Marine who was under what could be seen as a "code red". However, they suffer two major setbacks: Downey, under cross-examination, reveals he was not actually present when Dawson received the supposed "code red" order, and Markinson, ashamed that he failed to protect a Marine under his command, tells Kaffee that Jessup never ordered the transfer, but commits suicide rather than testify. Without Markinson's testimony, Kaffee believes the case lost, lamenting that he fought the case instead of taking a deal. Galloway convinces Kaffee to call Jessup as a witness, despite the risk of a court-martial for smearing a high-ranking officer. Jessup spars evenly with Kaffee's questioning, but is unnerved when Kaffee points out a contradiction in his testimony: Jessup stated Marines never disobey orders and that Santiago was to be transferred off-base for his own safety, but, having ordered his men to leave Santiago alone, then Santiago was in no danger. Irate at being caught in a lie and disgusted by what he sees as Kaffee's impudence towards the Marines, Jessup extols the military's importance, and his own, to national security. When asked point-blank if he ordered the "code red", he bellows with contempt that he did; Jessup tries to justify the order as he is arrested, and Kendrick is later arrested for his part. Dawson and Downey are cleared of the murder charge, but found guilty of "conduct unbecoming a United States Marine" and are dishonorably discharged. Dawson accepts the verdict, but Downey does not understand what they did wrong. Dawson explains they had failed to stand up for those too weak to fight for themselves, like Santiago. As the two are leaving, Kaffee tells Dawson honor doesn't come from a patch on his arm. Dawson stands at attention, recognizing him as an officer and rendering a salute. Cast

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
as Lieutenant (junior grade)
Lieutenant (junior grade)
Daniel Kaffee, USN, JAG Corps Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, USMC Demi Moore
Demi Moore
as Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway, USN, JAG Corps Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon
as Captain Jack Ross, USMC, Judge Advocate Division Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland
as Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick, USMC Kevin Pollak
Kevin Pollak
as Lieutenant (junior grade)
Lieutenant (junior grade)
Sam Weinberg, USN, JAG Corps Wolfgang Bodison as Lance Corporal Harold Dawson, USMC James Marshall as Private First Class Louden Downey, USMC J. T. Walsh as Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, USMC J. A. Preston
J. A. Preston
as Judge (Colonel) Julius Alexander Randolph, USMC Michael DeLorenzo
Michael DeLorenzo
as Private William T. Santiago, USMC Noah Wyle
Noah Wyle
as Corporal Jeffrey Owen Barnes, USMC Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Corporal Carl Edward Hammaker, USMC Xander Berkeley
Xander Berkeley
as Captain Whitaker, USN Matt Craven as Lieutenant Dave Spradling, USN, JAG Corps John M. Jackson as Captain West, USN, JAG Corps Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest
as Commander (Dr.) Stone, USN, MC Joshua Malina
Joshua Malina
as Jessup's clerk, Tom, USMC Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
as a lawyer bragging in a tavern

Note: Joshua Malina
Joshua Malina
is the only actor to reprise his role from the original Broadway production. Production Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
got the inspiration to write the source play, a courtroom drama called A Few Good Men, from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah, who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was going to Guantanamo Bay to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.[3] His roommates and he had purchased a Macintosh 512K, so when he returned home, he would empty his pockets of the cocktail napkins and type them into the computer, forming a basis from which he wrote many drafts for A Few Good Men.[4] In 1988, Sorkin sold the film rights for his play to producer David Brown before it premiered, in a deal reportedly "well into six figures".[5] Brown had read an article in The New York Times
The New York Times
about Sorkin's one-act play Hidden in This Picture, and he found out Sorkin also had a play called A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
that was having off-Broadway readings.[6] William Goldman
William Goldman
did an uncredited rewrite of the script that Sorkin liked so much, he incorporated the changes made into the stage version.[7] Brown was producing a few projects at TriStar Pictures, and he tried to interest them in making A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
into a film, but his proposal was declined due to the lack of star-actor involvement. Brown later got a call from Alan Horn at Castle Rock Entertainment, who was anxious to make the film. Rob Reiner, a producing partner at Castle Rock, opted to direct it.[6] The film had a production budget of $33,000,000.[8] Nicholson would later comment of the $5 million he received for his role, "It was one of the few times when it was money well spent."[9] The film starts with a performance of "Semper Fidelis" by a U.S. Marine Corps marching band, and a Silent Drill performed by the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets Fish Drill Team (portraying the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
Silent Drill Platoon).[10][11] Several former Navy JAG lawyers have been identified as the basis for Tom Cruise's character Lt. Kaffee. These include Don Marcari (now an attorney in Virginia), former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, Chris Johnson (now practicing in California), and Walter Bansley III (now practicing in Connecticut.) However, in a September 15, 2011, article in The New York Times, Sorkin was quoted as saying, “The character of Dan Kaffee in A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
is entirely fictional and was not inspired by any particular individual.”[12][13][14][15][16] Wolfgang Bodison was a film location scout when he was asked to take part in a screen test for the part of Dawson.[17] Reception Box office The film premiered at the Odeon Cinema, Manchester, England[18] and opened on December 11, 1992, in 1,925 theaters. It grossed $15,517,468 in its opening weekend and was the number-one film at the box office for the next three weeks. Overall, it grossed $141,340,178 in the U.S. and $101,900,000 internationally for a total of $243,240,178.[19] Critical response On Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
the film has an approval rating of 81% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "An old-fashioned courtroom drama with a contemporary edge, A Few Good Men succeeds on the strength of its stars, with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and especially Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
delivering powerful performances that more than compensate for the predictable plot."[20] On Metacritic
the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore
gave the film an average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale, one of fewer than 60 films in the history of the service to earn the score.[22] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
magazine said, "That the performances are uniformly outstanding is a tribute to Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
(Misery), who directs with masterly assurance, fusing suspense and character to create a movie that literally vibrates with energy."[23] Richard Schickel in Time magazine called it "an extraordinarily well-made movie, which wastes no words or images in telling a conventional but compelling story."[24] Todd McCarthy in Variety magazine predicted, "The same histrionic fireworks that gripped theater audiences will prove even more compelling to filmgoers due to the star power and dramatic screw-tightening."[25] Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
was less enthusiastic in the Chicago Sun-Times, giving it two-and-a-half out of four stars and finding its major flaw was revealing the courtroom strategy to the audience before the climactic scene between Cruise and Nicholson. Ebert wrote, "In many ways this is a good film, with the potential to be even better than that. The flaws are mostly at the screenplay level; the film doesn't make us work, doesn't allow us to figure out things for ourselves, is afraid we'll miss things if they're not spelled out."[26] Widescreenings noted that for Tom Cruise's character Daniel Kaffee, "Sorkin interestingly takes the opposite approach of Top Gun, where Cruise also starred as the protagonist. In Top Gun, Cruise plays Mitchell who is a "hotshot military underachiever who makes mistakes because he is trying to outperform his late father. Where Maverick Mitchell needs to rein in the discipline, Daniel Kaffee needs to let it go, finally see what he can do". Sorkin and Reiner are praised in gradually unveiling Kaffee's potential in the film.[27] Awards and honors Academy Awards nominations The film was nominated for four Academy Awards:[28]

Best Picture Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson) Best Film Editing (Robert Leighton) Best Sound Mixing (Kevin O'Connell, Rick Kline and Robert Eber)

Golden Globe nominations The film was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards:

Best Motion Picture – Drama Best Director (Rob Reiner) Best Actor (Tom Cruise) Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson) Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin)

Other honors The film is recognized by American Film Institute
American Film Institute
in these lists:

2003: AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains:

Colonel Nathan R. Jessep – Nominated Villain[29]

2005: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:

Col. Nathan Jessep: "You can't handle the truth!" – #29[30]

2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:

5 Courtroom Drama Film[31]

See also

1990s portal United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
portal Film in the United States portal

Trial movies


^ a b " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992 – Box Office Mojo)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 5, 2014.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
– Budget". Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ "London Shows – A Few Good Men". thisistheatre.com. E&OE. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ " Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
interview". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ Henry III, William (November 27, 1989). "Marine Life". Time. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008.  ^ a b Prigge, Steven (October 2004). Movie Moguls Speak: Interviews with Top Film Producers. McFarland & Company. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-7864-1929-6.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992)". IMDb.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
– budget". Nash Information Services. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ Jack Nicholson. IMDb ^ Daily Dose of Aggie History (December 11, 2016). "Dec. 11, 1992: A&M Fish Drill Team appears in 'A Few Good Men'". myAggieNation.com. Retrieved May 19, 2017.  ^ Nading, Tanya (February 11, 2001). "Corps Fish Drill Team reinstated — Front Page". College Media Network. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2009.  ^ Glauber, Bill (April 10, 1994). "Ex-Marine who felt 'A Few Good Men' maligned him is mysteriously murdered". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 21, 2010.  ^ Gisick, Michael (May 10, 2007). "Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias embraces the media in his quest for vindication". The Albuquerque Tribune. Archived from the original on November 5, 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2010.  ^ Johnson, Christopher D. "Christopher D. Johnson, Esquire". Retrieved September 21, 2010.  ^ Beach, Randall (March 18, 2009). "Allegation delays homicide trial". New Haven Register. Retrieved October 28, 2010.  ^ "Lawyer Didn't Act Like a "Few Good Men," Cops Say". NBC Connecticut. August 26, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.  ^ Noted in the A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
DVD commentary ^ "Historic Odeon faces final curtain". Manchester Evening News. February 15, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2014.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
– box office data". Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992)". Flixster Inc. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 25, 2009.  ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.  ^ " Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
review". Flixster Inc. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ Schickel, Richard (December 14, 1992). "Close-Order Moral Drill". Time Monday, Dec. 14, 1992. Time, Inc. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ McCarthy, Todd (November 12, 1992). " A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
– Review". RBI, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Retrieved June 22, 2011.  ^ Ebert, Roger (December 11, 1992). "A Few Good Men". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 7, 2016.  ^ [1] ^ "The 65th Academy Awards
65th Academy Awards
(1993) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 22, 2011.  ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 13, 2016.  ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved August 13, 2016.  ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Courtroom Drama". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 

External links

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(1992) movie script on sfy.ru

v t e

Films directed by Rob Reiner

This Is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap
(1984) The Sure Thing
The Sure Thing
(1985) Stand by Me (1986) The Princess Bride (1987) When Harry Met Sally...
When Harry Met Sally...
(1989) Misery (1990) A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992) North (1994) The American President
The American President
(1995) Ghosts of Mississippi
Ghosts of Mississippi
(1996) The Story of Us (1999) Alex & Emma (2003) Rumor Has It (2005) The Bucket List
The Bucket List
(2007) Flipped (2010) The Magic of Belle Isle
The Magic of Belle Isle
(2012) And So It Goes (2014) Being Charlie
Being Charlie
(2015) LBJ (2016) Shock and Awe (2017)

v t e

MTV Movie Award for Movie of the Year

Best Movie

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992) A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1993) Menace II Society
Menace II Society
(1994) Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction
(1995) Seven (1996) Scream (1997) Titanic (1998) There's Something About Mary
There's Something About Mary
(1999) The Matrix
The Matrix
(2000) Gladiator (2001) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2003) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2004) Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon Dynamite
(2005) Wedding Crashers
Wedding Crashers
(2006) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2007) Transformers (2008) Twilight (2009) The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2010) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2011)

Movie of the Year

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2012) The Avengers (2013) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2014) The Fault in Our Stars (2015) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2016) Beauty and the Beast (2017)

v t e

Works by Aaron Sorkin

Television series

Sports Night
Sports Night
(1998–2000) The West Wing
The West Wing
(1999–2006) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(2006–07) The Newsroom (2012–14)

Feature films

A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1992) Malice (1993) The American President
The American President
(1995) Charlie Wilson's War (2007) The Social Network
The Social Network
(2010) Moneyball (2011) Steve Jobs (2015) Molly's Game
Molly's Game

Stage plays

Hidden in This Picture (1988) A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
(1989) The Farnswort